Windy wedding photography tips
How to get windy wedding photos that’ll blow you away
Windy wedding photos are the forgotten middle child of the wedding photography world. Sure, everyone might stress about the more (in)famous photo worries like rain and cold. But tbh wind wreaks the most havoc … even though it can be a blessing. Read on to find out how to get great wedding photos on a windy day.
The wild but wonderful world of windy weddings
*entire marquee gets blown into the lake*
UK wedding guests: “Bit breezy!”
We may be stoic Brits. But when it comes to braving UK weddings (especially if you’re getting married at a venue like Normanton Church, Dodford Manor, or Rockingham Castle where you’ll be very open to the elements) it’s time to face facts: Wind gets real.
But the reality is, it won’t ruin your photos. In fact, it might make them even better.
Now, before we dive into “how you can make ‘better’ happen”, I’ve got two disclaimers:
- When I refer to a windy wedding, I’m not talking about a gentle breeze on a summer’s day. Nope. Not even close. We’re talking gale-force winds that truly blow a hoolie. We’re talking about the kind of wild wind that makes your hairdresser reach for extra cans of hairspray, makes your florist worry whether the flower arch is even possible, and sends your veil flying high into the sky.
- This article is mainly for the girls. I’m not sorry for it, because the wind simply causes less chaos for the guys. It’s science.
Also, I have a confession: I (not-so-secretly) love windy weddings.
What’s so good about a windy wedding?
Witnessing your wedding fly away with the wind might not seem like the most romantic proposition, but hear me out …
Wind is dramatic.
And drama in wedding photos? A-mazing.
- Movement is magical. From veils to tails, anything that has the potential to fly works really well in the wind. Because movement adds extra dimension and depth to documentary wedding photos. And when it comes to posed portraits, it shifts the feel from a staged shot to an unplanned moment – which looks more relaxed.
- You’ll look like you’re in a hair advert. Models (or at least hair product companies) literally pay for wind machines so they can look half as good as you will on your windy wedding day. Trust me.
- Wind elevates the romantic vibes. While your wedding dress billows in the breeze in an oh-so delightful fashion, your photographer will be able to capture some seriously romantic pics. I don’t know what is about windy wedding photos, but they’re at least 439632736% more romantic.
- Get charming (not contrived) photos. No need to persuade a bridesmaid to toss your veil into the air, or convince your partner to give their jacket a cheeky little whoosh so I can capture a pic of the snazzy lining … The wind will do the work (and make a naturally better job of it) for us.
And the end result? One-of-a-kind wedding photos you couldn’t replicate if you tried. So if Hurricane Henry or Storm Serena strike on your wedding day, don’t panic. We’ve got this.
The key to windy wedding photo success: Preparation
Just like a wet wedding, the key to making the most of what Mother Nature serves up is to prepare.
Here are my tips to help you get the best windy wedding photos possible:
1. Trust the pros
Your wedding photographer should have a windy weather plan …
(And if it’s me, you know it’ll be a good one. I’ve got an abundance of windy wedding hacks up my sleeve to make the most of whatever the wind throws at us – leftover confetti, your order of service, Grandma’s hat … )
Seriously though, as far as the documentary wedding photos go, it’s business as normal. And when it comes to your group photos and portraits, I’ll find us a sheltered spot away from the wind, take more shots than normal to ensure we have plenty where the wind is working wonders instead of causing chaos, and time the photos so we can shoot between the heavier gusts of wind. I’ve got you. So don’t worry about your photos.)
…. And in the same way, a pro hairstylist and make-up artist will know how to create a style to withstand the windy weather. Listen to them and let them work their magic.
But remember …
2. Let go of perfection
Wind can be unkind to hair. So if you wake up and hear the wind rattling the windows and rustling through the trees on your wedding morning, be open to changing your mind about your hairstyle.
Up-dos generally fair better in the wind, especially top knots, plaits, and low ponytails. But you’ll want them to be secured firmly. Loose hair will definitely fly around more, but if you’re keen to wear it down, I recommend you keep a brush close by so we can fix any wayward locks. (Note: Your photographer’s camera bag is a good place to make sure it’s right there when you need it!)
And this is definitely one of those times when you’ll be glad you booked an experienced hair pro. I wholeheartedly recommend Alison Jenner, who covers all of the UK. She’s a genius and will be able to create a dreamy style that stays put no matter what wild weather is thrown at you.
To counteract other windy worries:
- Keep tissues to hand. The wind can make your eyes water and you’ll want to dab (not rub!) your eyes with a soft tissue. Oh, and waterproof mascara is your bestie.
- Use plenty of pins in your veil (or let your hairstylist stress over it for you!). Feel confident it’s secure, and then let everything fly. And don’t worry if your veil blows out … It’ll be a great shot! And if you’ve chosen a long veil, even better!
- Wear a slim-fitting slip if your dress is made from floaty fabric – just in case the wind wafts a little too much!
- Have a jacket, wrap, or bridal jumper to pop on in case the wind chill factor is too chill. These look really cute, show personality, and keep you comfy so you look relaxed and happy in your photos.
3. Reserve an inside space for group photos
If there isn’t a suitable sheltered area outside, it’s best to do your group photos inside on severely windy days. I mean, oddly, your guests might not share your enthusiasm for Jane Austen style windswept-on-the-hillside vibes. But it’s no problem, we can keep everyone warm and happy inside.
4. Relax and enjoy the moment
When it comes to your portraits, how we approach them is up to you. Want to stay inside? You’ve got it. Want to do them outside? We’ll do that. You’re in complete control.
But if you plan on braving the wild weather (go you!), here’s how to work with not against the wind:
- Have fun. Wedding photos with wildcards are exciting! It might not feel all that romantic when you’re battling to stay vertical but, trust me, your photos will look wonderful!
- Face into the wind. Always. You might feel like you’re on the set of Mary Poppins, but if you face the wind, your hair and veil will blow away from your face. And hey presto … No hair in your lipstick or face-sucking-veils in sight. Lifesaver!
- Brush your hair off your face. Don’t be afraid you’ll ruin a shot if you touch your hair. It’s better to see your face than a face-full of hair. And the natural movement will look relaxed and super cute.
- Move with the wind. Sometimes the wind will make your dress hug your body. But if you change your angle slightly, so the wind flips it off you and the fabric flows across you rather than clings, you’ll get some really beautiful pics. You may need to hold your dress or swish it to get it blowing nicely, but I’ll guide you on what to do on the day.
- Cuddle close to your partner. Not only are they warm, but you can use them to block the wind from your hair so it doesn’t take as much of a battering. And, yep, you can bet the photos are going to be adorable!